Comparison of the economic impact of different wind power forecast systems for producers
Deterministic forecasts of wind production for the next 72 h at a single wind farm or at the regional level are among the main end-users requirement. However, for an optimal management of wind power production and distribution it is important to provide, together with a deterministic prediction, a probabilistic one. A deterministic forecast consists of a single value for each time in the future for the variable to be predicted, while probabilistic forecasting informs on probabilities for potential future events. This means providing information about uncertainty (i.e. a forecast of the PDF of power) in addition to the commonly provided single-valued power prediction. A significant probabilistic application is related to the trading of energy in day-ahead electricity markets. It has been shown that, when trading future wind energy production, using probabilistic wind power predictions can lead to higher benefits than those obtained by using deterministic forecasts alone. In fact, by using probabilistic forecasting it is possible to solve economic model equations trying to optimize the revenue for the producer depending, for example, on the specific penalties for forecast errors valid in that market. In this work we have applied a probabilistic wind power forecast systems based on the "analog ensemble" method for bidding wind energy during the day-ahead market in the case of a wind farm located in Italy. The actual hourly income for the plant is computed considering the actual selling energy prices and penalties proportional to the unbalancing, defined as the difference between the day-ahead offered energy and the actual production. The economic benefit of using a probabilistic approach for the day-ahead energy bidding are evaluated, resulting in an increase of 23% of the annual income for a wind farm owner in the case of knowing "a priori" the future energy prices. The uncertainty on price forecasting partly reduces the economic benefit gained by using a probabilistic energy forecast system.